Meet the Candidates for Grosse Pointe Farms Council
Four residents officially filed to seek election in the November race, which was uncontested until recently when another Farms resident began campaigning as a write-in candidate for city council.
In Grosse Pointe Farms, five residents are seeking election. Four residents filed with petitions by the deadline, making it an uncontested race originally. However a fifth resident has been campaigning as a write-in candidate within the last several weeks.
Current Mayor James Farquhar is seeking re-election for the mayoral seat. He is running uncontested.
Meanwhile, two incumbents, Joseph Leonard and Therese Joseph, are seeking re-election to the city council. Lev Wood is a newcomer. He was seeking to fill what would have been the third vacancy on the council created by Martin West, who was appointed to council to complete the term of the late Doug Roby.
West will remain on council, however, after he was appointed again to fulfill the term of the late Terry Davis, who passed away in August. Wood would have automatically filled the vacant seat that had originally been Roby's.
The flooding in September that caused extreme frustration for residents in the inland district spurred Elizabeth Vogel to begin a campaign in the race as a write-in candidate. This means there are four candidates for three seats on council.
The League of Women Voters of Grosse Pointe held candidate forums in which residents could pose questions of the candidates in a group setting for all of the contested races. The organization did not hold a forum in Grosse Pointe Farms as the race was not contested until recently.
Patch asked candidates to answer a few questions about themselves, their interest in the position and their goals. Wood and Vogel responded with answers. Information for the other candidates was compiled from the Grosse Pointe Farms website and their campaign information.
Listed alphabetically, the candidates are:
Farquhar has lived in Wayne County for 52 years, according to his filing affidavit. He is a small business owner in the community.
Farquhar has been on the council since 2005, when he was first elected. He has been re-elected since and serves on several committees, including Parks and Harbor, Budget, Compensation and the Grosse Pointe Farms Foundation.
Joseph has lived in Wayne County for 15 years, according to her filing affidavit.
She was first elected to the Farms council in 2001 and serves as the current mayor pro tem. She serves on several committees, including: Michigan Municipal League, Ordinance, retirement systems and is the chairwoman for Traffic and Parking.
Leonard has lived in Wayne County for 58 years, according to his filing affidavit.
He was first elected to the Farms council in 2003. He serves on several committees, including: Pointes Area Assisted Transportation, Parking and Traffic and Ordinance. He serves as an alternate for the Grosse Pointes/Clinton Refuse Disposal Authority and the Beautification Committee.
Vogel has lived in Grosse Pointe Farms for 24 years. She is seeking office as a write-in candidate.
She highlights her involvement in a variety of organizations in the Farms and all of the Pointes. She is the vice president of the Hill Association, a committee member of Grosse Pointe Public Library, on the Racing for Kids steering committee, worked with Grosse Pointe Chamber of Commerce's Live Well Campaign, is a trustee with the Grosse Pointe Historical Society and has been a reading mentor.
If elected, Vogel wants to improve communication between the city and its residents through improving the methods used by the city, its website and the general organization of records within city hall. She launched her campaign following the inland district flooding in September that inflamed residents because it was the second time since May for most and the third for some.
Wood has lived in Grosse Pointe Farms for a few years. He is a business development professional.
Wood highlights his extensive experience on a variety of governmental boards, including: Farmington Hills Zoning Board of Appeals, Wetlands Review Board in West Bloomfield, Huron River Watershed Council Board of Directors, and the City of Edina, MN Solid Waste and Recycling Commission. He is currently the second vice-president of the Clinton River Watershed Council Board and on the Grosse Pointe Farms Foundation. He also highlights his formal education as well as completion of an extension program through Michigan State University called Master Citizen Planner, during which he learned about zoning, master planning and capital improvement planning.
He designed the Pier Park rain garden, which helps manage storm water. If elected, Wood wants to use his experience to be a part of the solution. He believes the Farms has many upcoming, challenging issues. He wants to help address keeping water plant user rates competitive, maintaining a high level of public safety service and the adequate removal of sewage and storm water.
Editors Note of Disclosure: Elizabeth Vogel is a contributor for Grosse Pointe Patch. She writes a history column about the Grosse Pointes.